Take Your Dachshund Hiking

Take Your Dachshund Hiking: 10 Safety Tips To Keep It Fun

Updated 09/03/2021 by Ava Jaine

Are you ready to hit the trails with your dachshund?  Hiking with your furry friend is a great way to exercise and enjoy some special bonding time in the beautiful outdoors.

Wait!  Before you take your Dachshund hiking, you need to do a little planning ahead for your adventure.  Learn some super easy ways to keep your doxie safe before you go.

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Benefits Of Hiking With Your Dachshund

Socialization: 

Giving your dachshund a chance to join you on a nature hike is also a great way to introduce them to new sites, sounds, and smells.

Related: How to Socialize Your Dachshund to new surroundings.

Exercise:

Dachshunds have a much more positive attitude when they are properly exercised 1-2 times daily (for at least 20 minutes).

That’s right, if your doxie is cooped up all day long, they can get very grumpy indeed, and none of us want that!

Taking your doxie on a hike with you keeps them fit and feeling happy. Plus, it’s a good way to tire them out for a good nap.

Take Your Dachshund Hiking
 

Exploration:

Take a look at my dachshund, Eko’s, stance in the picture above.  His eyes are wide open, his chest is puffed out, he is in tracking mode and ready to go.

The Dachshund is a type of hound dog that loves to use all of their “super senses” to hunt.  Taking your pup on a hiking trail allows them to use all of their senses in one place.

Listening to new sounds, sniffing new scents, and a big open place to bark freely, it’s a dachshund’s dream!

Did you know that Dachshunds are able to hear and feel ground vibrations of their prey?

Take Your Dachshund Hiking
 

Safety Tips For Hiking With Your Dachshund

Let’s take a look at some easy ways we can prepare for our doxie hike.  Some basic things you can do ahead of time include:

  • Weather Check
  • Test The Trail
  • Pack The Essentials

Weather

Check the weather ahead of time to avoid getting caught in the rain.  In the hot summer, avoid hiking during peak time (9 am – 4 pm). 

Fall is my absolute favorite time to go hiking with my dachshunds, Eko and Bastian.  The weather is cool and the ground is dry, perfect for a comfortable hike.

I don’t usually hike during the winter to avoid icy trails.  If you do go hiking in the winter, make sure your doxie is bundled up.

Post You May Like:  Cozy Dachshund Coats That Fit

Test The Trail

First, test out the trail without your dachshund.  That way, you can check the trail for sharp debris, any uphill climbs, deep water sources, and you can get a feel for the amount of foot traffic passing through.

Flat, smooth trails work well for me and my dachshunds.  I hike for enjoyment, not really to get out of breath, so I keep it pretty easy going.

Don’t let your dachshund climb over sharp, jagged, rocks. Their little legs and low hanging bellies can really get scratched up easily if you aren’t careful.

Climbing up hills is a nice way to strengthen your dachshund’s muscles, but don’t let them over-do-it, since they are prone to back issues.

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Trail Length

Take into account your dachshund’s health, age, and energy level to help you pick out the right trail for your little buddy.  I have a 15 year old dachshund and a 1 year old dachshund.

My doxies both love hiking with me and my family.  We usually stick to flat, smooth trails and hike for about 30 minutes, at their pace…which is pretty slow.

About half way through, we take a sit down and drink break to make sure everyone is rested before heading back to the car.

 

How Far Can Your Dachshund Hike?

For your first couple of hikes with your doxie, limit the time to about 30 minutes total (with at least one break in between).  This should help you decide if they are able to do a little more or less.

Then, gradually increase the time to see if your doxie is up for the task.

Identification

It is critical that your dachshund has a recent dog license, name tag, or a microchip before going on a hike.  If your pup gets loose and runs off, who knows where they will end up.

Also, have an up-to-date photo of your dog on your phone or in your pocket in case you need to show other hikers what your dog looks like.

Take Your Dachshund Hiking
 

Harness

I prefer to use a dog body harness for both of my dachshunds whether we are on a hike or a walk.  They both get so excited to run on the trail that they tend to pull a lot on the leash and collar, which ends up making them choke and gag too much.

Using a comfortable body harness on your dachshund is much safer on their neck and back.

Related: Best Harness For Dachshunds

Leash

Always keep your little doxie on a sturdy leash while on a hike.  Your dachshund will be ready to chase anything that moves on the trail and greet other dogs and hikers along the way.

Lord knows that if there was a larger animal nearby, your dachshund would find it in no time. No matter how big your dachshund thinks he or she is, it probably won’t be a fair fight.

If you would prefer a more ‘hands-free’ hiking dog leash, check this one out on Amazon.  Look Ma, No Hands!

  • Avoid Toxins: Keeping your dog on a secure leash will help prevent them from accidentally consuming poisonous mushrooms, wildlife waste, and poisonous berries.

  • Stay Close: Your pup needs to stay on the trail and close to you to avoid roaming into a patch of poison ivy or poison oak.

  • Illness: Don’t let you dog drink any creek or river water.  Your dog can get some nasty diseases, like giardia and lepto, through dirty, contaminated water.

  • Bites: If your doxie is bitten by a snake (or any wild animal) on the trail, get them back to your car ASAP and drive to the Nearest Vet or Animal Emergency clinic. 

    Scroll Down to the bottom of this post to Helpful Links to watch a video on how to save your dog from a snake bite.

Pet First Aid Kit

No one wants to be caught off guard with an injury while on a hiking trail.  If you or your dog needs medical attention, it helps to have a kit available and ready to go. 

You can get a small compact kit to throw in your hiking bag or have one stored in the car.

Here is a nice Pet First Aid Kit with great ratings on Amazon.

A good quality Pet First Aid Kit should include: A thermometer, scissors, tweezers, alcohol pads, gauze, bandages, and first aid tape.

Tip: Pick a trail that circles back around to your car in case you need to rush your pup to the vet.

 
Take Your Dachshund Hiking

Leave No Trace

If your pup leaves any waste on the hiking trail, bag it up.  Don’t leave it on the ground for others to step in.  Do your part to keep the trail clean and beautiful.

Fact: Dog waste is the #3 cause of water pollution. In 1991, the EPA deemed dog waste to be as toxic as oil spills.

Time For A Break

Stop every 15-20 minutes for a drink break and allow your dog to catch their breath.  Larger dogs may be able to go longer without a break, but our “determined doxies” are putting in a lot more steps and need to rest those paws.

Make sure to bring along plenty of drinking water for you and your dog. 

This is my favorite travel water bottle that keeps me and my dogs fully hydrated on our hikes. 

Bring along some small dog treats to help you dachshund re-energize on their break.  Dogs burn a lot of calories while hiking. 

Don’t give them a large amount of treats or food, this could upset their stomach.

Paw Wipe Down

At the end of your doxie hike, you should gently wipe down your dog’s paws.  You can choose to use an all natural dog grooming wipe (from Amazon) or just dose each paw with some water to rinse off any sharp debris they may have stuck between their toes or pads.

Take Your Dachshund Hiking
 

Tick Check

Always do a thorough tick inspection on yourself and your dog after spending time outside.  This can prevent the transmission of disease and infestation.

Run your fingers over your dachshund’s coat and make sure to inspect the following areas:

  • Inside and Outside Ears
  • Between their Toes
  • Face and Chin
  • Under the Tail
  • Groin area
  • Armpits
  • Eyelids

If I ever find a gross tick stuck inside my dog’s fur, I use the Tick Key to get the whole tick (body and head) out!  The tick key goes right on your key chain so it is there when you need it. It is a MUST HAVE if you take your doxies on hiking trails.

Ticks Off Of Your Dachshund

Post Hike Clean Up

After the hike, have an old towel or car seat cover handy in case your doxie’s paws and belly are muddy or wet.

Paw Protection

If you and your dachshund are up for more of an off-road adventure, consider getting your pup some dog booties to protect their feet.  Here is some more info on dog booties that I like to suggest for cold weather or rougher terrain.

Back Up BackPack

If your dachshund gets injured, becomes ill, or is just too tired on your hiking adventure, it doesn’t hurt to have a dog backpack to carry your doxie back home. 

Check out the best backpacks for carrying dachshunds post by You Did What With Your Weiner.com.

Do You Love To Take Your Dachshund Hiking?  Let us know about your Doxie hiking adventures below.

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